First division - day 2
Celta moved ahead of their local rivals Deportivo to top the first division after their second 3-0 victory in a row, this time over Tenerife. Russian international Mostovoi returned to the side after a one match ban and got two of the goals, the second from the penalty spot twenty minutes from the end after Jesuli had been brought down. Catanha opened the scoring, also from the penalty spot, after Pablo Paz held him back.
Alavés joined the top group of four teams on the maximum six points after defeating neighbours Real Sociedad 2-0. Magno got their first goal with a brilliant solo effort and Llorens added the second from the penalty spot ten minutes from the end. Real Sociedad join Tenerife and Osasuna at the bottom of the table, all three without a point in their first two games.
Barcelona slipped up at home and in the end were fortunate to get a 1-1 draw against Rayo Vallecano. With Rivaldo out for three weeks after picking up an injury playing for Brazil they were short of inspiration, and fell behind to an Arteaga penalty ten minutes in to the second half. Rochemback finally levelled the scores with a shot which was turned in to his own net by Hernández, but Michel almost gave Rayo the three points with an effort which hit both posts before bouncing back to the keeper.
Valencia were also lucky to come away from Valladolid with a point after a last minute Salva goal made it 1-1. Caminero scored for the home side in the first half, turning Fernando's free kick in to the net with his forearm, a much protested goal. Valladolid were unfortunate to be reduced to ten men early in the second half when the referee gave Peña a second yellow card after the ball hit him on his arm from behind.
Betis finally beat one of their bogey teams Espanyol 2-0 after losing five times in a row to them at the Ruiz de Lopera stadium. Both goals came in the first half hour, the first from a Joaquín header and the second from a Casas penalty, his third goal of the season. Denilson was on brilliant form and created havoc throughout the match. Espanyol were missing three of their key players though, with Palencia returning from Mexico injured and Navas and Posse unable to play as their registration papers were not in order.
Betis's neighbours Sevilla also got a good result, drawing 1-1 away at Zaragoza. The home side took the lead in bizarre circumstances, the referee penalising Sevilla's keeper Notario for holding on to the ball for longer than six seconds. The resulting indirect free kick inside the penalty area was tapped to Esquerdinha who blasted it in to the top of the net. However Zaragoza made the mistake of sitting back, and Moisés made it all square ten minutes from the end. (09.09.01)
A late goal by substitute Fran gave Deportivo La Coruña a 0-1 victory over Las Palmas to keep them at the top of the table pending Sunday's results in their 1,000th game in the first division. The Spanish international midfielder picked up the ball in the middle of the park and ran through a tired defence before bending a shot wide of Nacho González just as the game seemed to be heading for a draw.
Villarreal join the leaders on six points after defeating Osasuna 3-0. Víctor opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Palermo was ruled to have been fouled early on, and Jorge López added a second just after the interval. Osasuna's Sabino was sent off for arguing in the final minutes, and only seconds later Palermo made it three from close up.
Real Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw by Málaga and have only picked up one point from their first two games, their worst start since 1984. Roberto Carlos put them into the lead after a free kick on the quarter hour mark, his shot taking a deflection off Dely Valdés. However ex Real Madrid player Fernando Sanz, son of former president Lorenzo Sanz, gave Málaga a deserved point ten minutes from the end with his first ever goal in the first division.
Mallorca finally found their form, beating Athletic Bilbao 0-1 in the San Mamés stadium. The only goal came from Cameroon international Eto'o ten minutes into the second half, and Mallorca keeper Leo Franco kept out the Lions for the rest of the match with a magnificent performance. Both teams have three points. (08.09.01)